Astrid Plenk, Broadcasting Centre Director, MDR Thüringen

Dr Astrid Plenk will become the new Director of the Thuringia State Broadcasting Centre in Erfurt on 1 April 2024. The MDR Broadcasting Council approved the appointment by MDR Director General Ralf Ludwig by a large majority. The term of office begins on 1 April 2024 for a period of five years until 31 March 2029. Plenk succeeds Boris Lochthofen, who left MDR by mutual agreement at the end of 2023.

Astrid Plenk has been head of the children's channel (KiKA) of ARD and ZDF in Erfurt since 2018. To date, she has had overall responsibility for the development, planning, editing and production of programming in the areas of fiction, series, licences and non-fictional and fictional content for children's programming.

MDR Director General Ralf Ludwig: "MDR is gaining a proven media manager with many years of management experience and digital transformation expertise in broadcasting for this top position. Astrid Plenk stands for innovative and creative programmes. Under the leadership of MDR, she has succeeded in developing KiKA into the most successful children's media programme in Germany. She has strong ties to the state of Thuringia and Central Germany and has a regional, national and international network in the media industry. With her expertise and many years of experience, she will continue to successfully shape and develop the programmes of the MDR regional broadcasting house in Thuringia together with her dedicated colleagues."

Dietrich Bauer, Chairman of the MDR Broadcasting Council: "Astrid Plenk's many years of experience as a media manager, her professional expertise - particularly in the important children's and youth media sector - and her clear vision for the Thuringia broadcasting centre as part of a dynamic media location in Erfurt are impressive."

Astrid Plenk, future MDR regional broadcasting centre director for Thuringia: "I am looking forward to my new role and thank you for the trust you have placed in me. As State Broadcasting Director, I would like to make a contribution to our democratic society with our public service programmes as part of the team from Thuringia. Starting in such a new position in an exciting election year makes it all the more exciting. In my new role, I am aiming to achieve even stronger networking of the Thuringia state broadcasting centre within MDR, with KiKA and MDR Media GmbH as well as other partners."

Astrid Plenk was born on 27 April 1976 in Bernburg (Saale) in Saxony-Anhalt, is married and the mother of three children. After studying education at Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, she initially worked for various private and public media companies.

Since September 2010, she has been the very successful head of the "Children and Family" editorial team at Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk. In June 2013, Plenk completed her doctorate in philosophy at the University of Kassel. In January 2018, she took over the programme management of KiKA.